“THE SHOE IS PERFECT”

DADDY TOOK MY HORSE, SMOKEY, TO THE BLACKSMITH TO GET NEW SHOES. I was about 7 years old, in 1945.  With wide-eyes I watched as the blacksmith put iron in the fire.  He left it there until it got red hot.  Then he pulled it out with a big, long wrench or something, and placed it on the anvil – red hot!  He beat and  banged on it until sparks began to fly! Because the iron was so hot it was kinda soft. He hammered and hammered and he twisted it into a horseshoe. He already knew Smokey’s size.  He put it in the water and it sizzled. He made 4 of them.  Smokey just stood there watching. As a little kid, I was wide-eyed.  When the blacksmith put them on Smokey, he was happy. Smokey was happy, too.
  1. I thought this was gonna be really bad with all the fire, noise and beating. Maybe Smokey did, too.
  2. Daddy knew exactly who to go to for brand new shoes.
  3. Daddy loved Smokey and so did I.  In a way, I think the blacksmith did, in his own way.
  4. Neither Daddy nor the blacksmith would dare to hurt Smokey.
  5. The blacksmith knew what he was doing and in no way would he hurt Smokey.
  6. I learned some lessons from that day.
    a.  GOD DOES NOT cause us to suffer;
    b.  He uses many circumstances and crises to make our life better;
    c.  Since He is LOVE, he knows just the right things to do to make the “shoe” fit;
    d.  He perfectly understands that things may look scary, but all in all the shoes He puts on us will protect us when we run over rough ground.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (kjv)

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“When I am swept by the tempests of life,
Jesus is all I need.
Peace He imparts whatsoever the strife,
Jesus is all I need.
“All that I need He will always be.
All that I need till His face I see.
All that I need thro’ eternity.
Jesus is all I need.”
(James Rowe)

The Amazing WORD!

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS SO AMAZING ABOUT THE BIBLE?

It doesn’t hide or shade the TRUTH!

It is as clear as a bell about:

•Who God created – male & female;

•Who should be worshipped – Him!

•Murder – Don’t.

•Lying – Don’t

•Theft – Don’t

•Homosexuality – NO! It’s an

abomination 

•Drunkenness – No

•Prostitution – No

•Love – without conditions

•Marriage – man-woman

•Angels – they are here, are sent

only by God’s instructions

•Satan & Demons – they are here, not

omnipotent, not omniscient, and not

omnipresent

•Spiritual rebirth – necessary

•The Father – He is God

•The Holy Spirit – He is God

•Jesus – He is God

•Father, Son, Holy Spirit – three in one

and one in three/a mystery

•The miracles of Jesus; – written & believed

•Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – YES!

•And thousands of

other events and beliefs – Hallelujah!

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

Hebrews 4:12 (nlt)

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 (niv)

THE FORGOTTEN PAIN

THEY WHIPPED JESUS. THEY HUMILIATED HIM WITH TAUNTS. THEY SPAT ON HIM.  THEY SHOUTED SNEERING INSULTS. THEY LAUGHED AT HIM.

But there was a stabbing pain of the soul not recorded in Scripture.  Oh it’s there alright, but very little or nothing is written about the hurt, the disappointment Jesus felt when Judas stooped low in his betrayal for a measly 30 pieces of silver.  Jesus loved Judas. He occupied an important position as treasurer of the group.

Jesus told the assembled disciples, “‘One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:20-21‬ ‭(msg)

It could have been any one of them.  Jesus didn’t name the guy because he didn’t want to embarrass anyone.

If your husband or wife or friend betrayed you, would you publicly hold them up for ridicule?  Jesus would never hold anyone up for public embarrassment.  He knew  the unexplainable pain of disaffection and deception.

“Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, ‘It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?’ Jesus said, ‘Don’t play games with me, Judas.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:25‬ ‭(msg)

Although nothing is mentioned of Jesus’ feelings at the time, but can’t you just feel Christ’s mixture of anger and hurt.

Arrogantly taking someone for a chump creates a toxic emotional poison in body and mind.  You may have read my article on oxytocin, a hormone associated with betrayal and revenge (“Love hath no fury like a woman scorned!”)  Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus.  In my book, WRITE IT ON MY HEART, I address the issue more completely, but suffice it to say that if you betray her or him, you better watch out!  In fact, if either of you starts to nibble around the edges of moral certitude, you’re a goner. Something crazy,  along with destructive emotions begin to happen and all hell will break loose. Your sins will find you out.   Have you noticed it in real life? Oxytocin & Cortisol – Tiger Woods, John Gotti, Charlie Sheen, and countless others great and small are gluttons for punishment?

Write It On My Heart – Speaking Truth in Love

No, I’m not a molecular biologist so don’t get all freaked out thinking this is an illustrious article with ibids, op cits and quotes from noted scientists, PhD’s, DD’s, MD’s, DVD’s, and other learned D’s past, present and future.  Cortisol is a hormone finding its origin in the hypothalamus which then tells the pituitary gland to shoot out Oxytocin, known as the DEATH HORMONE. I think the medical name for it is hydrocortisone. Sometime, old people have too much of it, and then they kick the bucket.   IT CAN BE TRIGGERED BY GUILT!

It is a “stress” hormone.  Cortisol, the hormone,  can increase blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety and other stuff.  From a “ministerial” (😊) perspective, I might even jump to this conclusion: since guilt is  “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined,” tragic consequences occur in your body, daily activities and in your thinking.

We know – it is proven – that the mind affects the body. I would submit that your spirit affects both mind and body.  The Psalmist wrote:  “Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to GOD.’   Suddenly the pressure was gone— my GUILT dissolved, my sin disappeared.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭32:5‬

CORTISOL is the Death Hormone. Oxytocin is the betrayal/revenge Hormone.  It could be that Jeremiah is addressing this thought:

“All … your friends have forgotten you. They don’t care about you. I have hurt you as an enemy would. I punished you very hard, because your GUILT was so great and your sins were so many. Why are you crying out about your injury? There is no cure for your pain. I did these things to you because of your great GUILT, because of your many sins.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭30:14-15‬

“Let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. … in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, GUILT, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-57‬

Jesus, being fully human as well as fully God, most assuredly had a broken heart beyond words when Judas betrayed him. But think of Judas – he “threw the silver coins into the Temple and left. Then he went out and hung himself.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27:5‬ ‭(msg)

Oh the hurt that Jesus felt!

Humpty Dumpty

“ALL THE KING’S HORSES

and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty

Together again “

You may seem to be irreparably broken.

Your life may be a wreck.

You may be feeling desperately hopeless.

The evil one is trying every trick in his book to discourage you; to make you lose faith.

Don’t let him. He’s a deceiver.

On the other hand, The Great God of Heaven, The Creator, Comforter, our Savior, the El Shaddai is the

Son of Righteousness;

He’s the King of Glory;

The firmament shows his handiwork;

He’s full of love;

He’s merciful;

His grace is forever.

He’s enduringly strong.

He’s eternally graceful.

He’s imperially powerful.

He’s impartially merciful.

He’s my Friend!

He’s your Friend.

He makes a way when there is no way.

“‘He will not break a crushed blade of grass or put out even a weak flame until he makes justice win the victory. In him will the non-Jewish people find hope.’”

Matthew 12:20-21

He’s the God who can; El Shaddai!

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“Through his love and through the ram,

He saved the Son of Abraham;

Through the power of his hand,

Turned the sea into dry land.

To the outcast on her knees,

He was the God who really sees,

And by his might,

He set his children free.

“El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

El-elyon na adonai,

Age to age you’re still the same,

By the power of the name.

El shaddai, El Shaddai,

Erkamka na adonai,

I will praise you ’till I die,

El Shaddai.”

(Card & Thompson)

“‘I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”

Matthew 28:20

 

LIFE CHANGING

THE KING PASSED BY – 

It was interesting, but not life-changing.  We were sitting outside having dinner at a restaurat in Carmel, CA.  A motorcycle CHP officer drove up and parked.  I thought about telling him that this was not Dunkin’ Donuts. Then two more drove up – I was outnumbered.

A rather old looking Suburban parked right behind the motorcycles.  Doesn’t that guy know what he’s doing?  Then two more nicer looking Suburbans parked behind theold one.  For about 5 minutes nothing happened.  Then a few guys exited the cars while the motorcycle cops milled around.  We continued to eat.

Our server came to our table.  We asked what in the samhill was going on.  She didn’t know. That’s the state of most of us. “We know nuttin’!”

Then a little short guy opened the door of the old Suburban, walked back to the new one, opened the door and entered. He remained in the new one for about one minute, exited the far side, and as a few big guys surrounded him he walked by our table and entered the restaurant; within 6 feet of us.

IT WAS THE KING OF JORDAN!

We continued to eat. It was interesting, but not life-changing.

On July 4, 1956, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords walked by my heart.  Determinedly and passionately I followed him to the altar. He showed me his heart, his hands and side.  He said,

“Come unto me, … and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your soul.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-29‬ ‭

I confessed. I surrendered and said,

“Just as I am, without one plea

But that thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

(Charlotte Elliott)

THE KING PASSED BY!  MY LIFE CHANGED!

Heartbreaking Hunger

DO YOU REMEMBER SEEING ON TV THE ABJECT HUNGER AND STARVATION OF THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE in 1984 and 2017?  It was heart wrenching!  Adults and children were lying on the streets slowly dying, nothing more than bones  sheathed with parched skin.

God placed in our body the desire for food.  If you lose your normal, natural hunger and thirst, illness and possibly death may take place.  God also put in the soul of his crowning creation a hunger and thirst for a deep, settled peace.  If you lose your desire for inner peace, a seared conscience takes place.  When you have no desire to act on the hunger that Jesus gives, you may “eat and still be hungry,” as it says in The Book of Hosea 4:10.

Many will try to assuage their grief, fear, anger, and guilt with escapism into alcohol, drugs, money, power or multiple relationships.  Others who recognize their spiritual hunger will ignore it by gravitating to a form of Godliness while denying the power thereof.

Physical hunger tells your body that you need food while spiritual hunger is as Isaiah says:  “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.”

Isaiah 26:9 (niv).

The Psalmist prayed (42:1-4):

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? ….” The Psalmist continues, “My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: ….”

Thank God, there is an answer.  “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED.”

Matthew 5:6 (nkjv)

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“Longing, longing for Jesus.

I have a longing in my heart for him.

Just to be near him,

To feel his presence,

I have have a longing in my heart for him.”

What About Prayer

“Sometimes prayer is spontaneous and takes a variety of physical positions. All of these examples illustrate acceptable ways of prayer. Scripture commands us to proclaim God’s greatness by means of our bodies. Here are a few additional examples of ways God is pleased with our worship.

  • Some danced and sang their prayers as Miriam did (Exodus 15:20).
  • The Israelites bowed their heads in gratitude and worship (Exodus 12:27).
  • Job fell to the ground to petition God (Job 1:20).
  • The Levites stood and praised the Lord with a loud shout (2 Chronicles 20:19).
  • “For the choir director: A psalm … Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!” (Psalm 47:1).
  • “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker” (Psalm 95:6).
  • “Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp” (Psalm 149:3). “So wherever you assemble, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy” (1 Timothy 2:8).

We see clapping, shouting, kneeling, dancing, playing instruments, standing in awe, raising hands, and lying down. Clearly all these actions are acceptable and appropriate in the worship of God. God is pleased and hears our prayers no matter how we pray. The important thing is that we come to Him in humility with a sincere heart and not in a showy fashion.”

 

Definition – “Socially, kneeling, similar to bowing, is associated with reverence, respect, submission and obeisance, particularly if one kneels before a person who is standing or sitting: the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee.”

 

“There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” THEN,AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN APPEARED and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:40-44‬ ‭(nlt)

Did you get that? When he prayed, an angel appeared!

 

 

A. C. T. S. 

PRAYER IS NOT  A LITTLE BOOST TO YOUR PSYCHE!

It is NOT that childhood remark, “Cross your heart and hope to die and stick a needle in your eye.”

Prayer is talking with God in humility through Jesus Christ, the Messiah!  It is a spiritual exercise.  It is simple, direct.

You may want to pray using

an acronym – A. C. T. S.

A – adore him

C – confess to him

T – thank him

S – seek, or supplicate, (a petition, ask him to answer you in his way, not your way)

Sometimes it may explode out of your heart and other times it may be a quiet pleading, a ductile hunger in your soul.

Throughout the Bible it tells of those who sang their prayer or danced, or bowed their head, were thankful in prayer, who worshipped, who praised to the glory of God.

Getting alone when no one can hear is amazing. At first, you may feel kind of funny, but in your heart of hearts he will impress you with his thoughts, his ways. You may want to raise your hands, kneel, sing, sit quietly – who knows? It’s your time with the Lord! God loves it!

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭(kjv)

When you are suffering you may want to thank him, knowing that “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭(nlt)

Jesus is a beautiful example of prayer.

“Then he told them, ‘Pray that you will not give in to temptation.’  He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’  Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:40-44‬ ‭(nlt)

I can’t think of anyone who had my back when all hell broke loose in my life.  O, I presume there were those who, from time to time, thought of me, but ….

On the other hand, the prayers of my mom and dad were always there pulling me through the fires of heartbreak, confusion and temptation.  God gets involved in our life when we pray a fervent prayer. The power of prayer set me free!

As a child I remember my mother singing:

🎼🎶🎹

“Spirit of the Living God,

fall afresh on me

Spirit of the Living God,

fall afresh on me

Melt me, mold me

Fill me, use me

Spirit of the Living God,

Fall fresh on me.”

(Phil Wickham)

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!

BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND NOON – GOOD AND EVIL

BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND NOON – GOOD AND EVIL

How can you tell the difference between an evil spirit and a good spirit?  At first blush it seems an easy task.  Not so!

An evil spirit is tricky. It is the same spirit that worked on the mind of Eve, making good seem bad and bad seem good. An evil spirit will make you scared with sad, anxious and angry feelings while at the same time dominating your emotions, anticipating excitement. Whispering, the evil one says, “Go ahead. Eat this fruit. You’ll become just like God!” (Genesis 3:5)

You have a choice!

Vaunting itself as a frolicking angel of fun, he captures your desires, giving you the sense that you are something special. “Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light.” Even priests, pastors, professors, politicians and others can be suckered in, taking advantage of the vulnerable; “Give me your money and you’ll be healthy, wealthy and wise; “Give me your body, because God is love, isn’t he?”

“It shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭11:12-15‬

The true Holy Spirit will indwell when the human heart is offered to God following  repentance. Jesus was a human being having been sent as God in the flesh, the Son of God!  When Jesus voluntarily died for our sins,  arose from the grave and ascended back to Heaven He gave those who hunger to be pure and holy THE COMFORTER, THE HOLY  SPIRIT.  The Holy Spirit becomes a Guide to your spirit; an Enabler.  Therefore, He never forces you into a corner. He is your COMFORTER!  He is the One who follows you, loves you, is the “little red light in your soul.” He, the Holy One gives you that clean feeling.

He is the One who tells you the difference between good and evil.  As long as you walk in His light, His glory, the joy of the Lord will be your Companion, your Comforter!